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Homework Help: Acceleration on a Frictionless Wedge

  1. Aug 8, 2012 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Two masses m1 and m2 (m1 > m2) are connected over a wedge shaped block. Assuming both inclined planes are frictionless along with frictionless and massless pulley, calculate an expression for the acceleration of the system.

    Here's what it sort of looks like: http://prntscr.com/df5lh

    2. Relevant equations

    F = mgsinθ ( I think )

    3. The attempt at a solution

    Finding F of both blocks, and minusing one from the other.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 8, 2012 #2


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    Gold Member

    Take each block separately and draw the free body diagrams for each, using an appropriate coordinate system. If the pulley is frictionless and mass less, we have a 'no slip' circumstance, which means if [itex] m_1 [/itex] accelerates some distance down the incline, [itex] m_2 [/itex] will accelerate up the other incline at same rate. This will help when equating expressions later on.
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